WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has awarded Honeywell Technology Solutions of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a $12.9 million contract modification to modernize the tracking station at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to a July 1 announcement from the Pentagon.

The contract, now worth $38.9 million, is part of a broader Air Force initiative to modernize electronics, including a new high power amplifier, at eight Air Force Satellite Control Network sites and then integrate those electronics with the existing antennas. The change allows for additional automation of the network.

The Air Force Satellite Control Network operates and controls many of the Defense Department’s satellites.

The work at Vandenberg is expected to be completed by June 2017, the release said. Completion of all eight sites is expected by 2019, according to a report the Air Force sent its congressional oversight committees in April.

Follow Mike on Twitter: @Gruss_SN

Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...